Home » Artists » Americana

Modern Mandolin Quartet: Bio

Matt Flinner is widely considered one of the hottest mandolin players on the acoustic scene. He started out as a prodigy who was playing bluegrass festivals before he entered his teens, and won the national banjo contest at Winfield Kansas in 1990, and the mandolin award there the following year. He then attended the University of Utah at Salt Lake City where he obtained a degree in composition and performed with the Utah Symphony. Flinner has two solo album releases to his credit, The View From Here and Latitude, which feature an all-star cast of acoustic players including Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, David Grier and Darol Anger. Flinner believes that his early years spent in the Rocky Mountains had a very real impact on his music. "There's an American harmony in classical music that's this big wide-open sound - Aaron Copland's work, for example," Flinner says. "So I think there could be something to that, that your surroundings reflect your music."

Dana Rath, mandolinist, has devoted his musical career to reawakening interest in the mandolin family instruments. He has worked with The Berkeley Mandolin Ensemble,the Rudy Cipolla group, the Hotzeplotz Klezmer Orchestra and is a founding member of The Modern Mandolin Quartet. His interest in classical mandolin began while studying classical guitar at Loyola University in New Orleans. He then studied in Europe with mandolin virtuoso Keith Harris. Other instructors include Gertrud Troester, Emmanuel Sheynkmann and Andy Statman. Dana has recorded new works by Alexis Alrich and Larry Polanski for Opus One Records. He has also performed with the Berkeley Symphony and Louisville Symphony and has played mandolin, guitar and banjo for San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater. His involvement with the Quartet continues his dream of bringing new prominence to the modern mandolin.

Radim Zenkl grew up in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia where he studied classical guitar, mandolin and composing. Zenkl's father taught classical music theory at the University of Ostrava. Between 1984 and 1989, Zenkl performed as a guest soloist with the Janacek Philharmonic Symphony and the State Opera Orchestra of Ostrava. Zenkl moved to the USA in 1989 and won the Winfield Mandolin Championship in 1992. On several concert tours he substituted for players in the Modern Mandolin Quartet, playing the first mandolin (1993) and mandocello (2001). Zenkl has invented a masterful technique, the ‘Zenkl style,' in which a single mandolin sounds like two. Besides collaborating with the top musicians of the acoustic music scene, Zenkl has created an extensive repertoire for solo mandolin and mandola. He has recorded several solo CDs (Acoustic Disc, Shanachie and Ventana) and has appeared on more than sixty other recordings. In recent years he added a variety of ethnic flutes to his concerts and recordings. Zenkl's worldwide performing and teaching credentials include guest appearances at prestigious music institutions such as the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. He is also a member of the Ger Mandolin Orchestra, led by Mike Marshall. Zenkl's home page is at: www.zenkl.com

Adam Roszkiewicz began playing the guitar at age 7, inspired by Mississippi John Hurt, Tom Petty, and his father's shiny new Fender Stratocaster. His first lessons were from his father and later with Gregory Coleman and John Schneiderman. Now based in the Bay Area, Adam performs classical music, bluegrass, country, folk and new acoustic music on guitar, mandolin, and mandocello. Adam has performed at festivals around the world including the Icicle Creek music festival in Washington, the Mozart festival in San Luis Obispo, the Blue Highways festival in Utrecht, Holland, the Singer Festival in Warsaw, Poland and the Hardly-Strictly-Bluegrass festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. In addition to the Modern Mandolin Quartet, Adam currently plays with the Bluegrass band Front Country and is a member of the Ger Mandolin Orchestra. Adam has also performed with AJ Roach, Ana Egge, Rachel Ries, Anais Mitchell,  and Mike Marshall. Adam earned his undergraduate and graduate diplomas in music performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with David Tanenbaum and Marc Teicholz. In March 2005, he made his Carnegie Hall debut, performing guitar duets with Santiago Gutierrez. In addition to performance, Adam is also a dedicated music teacher with over 15 years experience giving private lessons and workshops. His book of flatpick guitar arrangements of fiddle tunes is due to be published in 2013.

1 Copland: 'Hoe-Down' from Rodeo  
2 Dvorak: StringQuartet #12/ I.Allegro ma non troppo  
3 Dvorak: String Quartet #12/ II. Lento  
4 Dvorak: String Quartet #12/ III. Molto vivace  
5 Dvorak: String Quartet #12/ IV. Finale  
6 Bernstein: "Cool" from West Side Story  
7 Shenandoah  
8 Gershwin: 3 Preludes/ I. Allegro ben ritmato  
9 Gershwin: 3 Preludes/ II. Andante con moto  
10 Gershwin: 3 Preludes/ III. Allegro ben ritmato  
11 Monroe: Bill Monroe Medley  
12 Glass: "Mishima"/ I. Award Montage  
13 Glass: "Mishima"/ II. Ichigaya  
14 Glass: "Mishima"/ III. Body Building  
15 Glass: "Mishima"/ IV. Mishima/Closing  
16 Irish Roots Medley (Bonus)  
Cool, from 'West Side Story' - Modern Mandolin Quartet
Modern Mandolin Quartet - Americana

Sono Luminus presents this uniquely engaging collection of music that embodies the American spirit in Americana, the latest release by Modern Mandolin Quartet. The package will be a 2-disc set, containing a Blu-rayTM Surround Sound disc as well as a standard CD. Expressing their opinion on their choices of musical selections for this album, the quartet writes, "This music attracted us because of the wonderful way it sounds on our instruments, particularly the Dvorak. Since the musical character of the pieces is based on various forms of American music, it lends itself extremely well to the mandolin. While many selections for piano and string music rely on idioms and techniques that may not transpose well to the mandolin, the pieces included on this disc were chosen for their vitality and the way they jumped right off the page." Fanfare Magazine exclaims, "MMQ play dead-straight, spot-on, and packed with freshness and vitality of a kind that is rare in material of this type. These are not down-scaled, make-em-easy, just-for-kicks charts either - they are a Major Thing. TRIPLE MUST!"

34 New 'ON' this week: 163 Total
Classical 24, The Romantic Hours
Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, DMX
Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Houston, Austin, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Portland, Austin, Denver, New Orleans, Nashville, Memphis, Louisville, Tampa, San Antonio, Columbus OH, Hononlulu
Online: RadioIO, Taintradio

Crossover Media Projects with: Modern Mandolin Quartet